Episode 99: Cameroon Programs | Rev. Mike Kuhn and John Ndemba
January 19, 2024

On this episode of the Essentially Translatable podcast, Rich and Emily are joined by John Ndemba and Rev. Mike Kuhn, who serve in the Bible translation movement in Cameroon and have recently become involved with the SURAM project. Rev. Kuhn fills the role of Data Analyst for SURAM, he also has served as a Missionary with Lutheran Bible Translators Canada in Cameroon since 2013. John Ndemba serves as the Project Coordinator for SURAM, he previously worked as Cluster Facilitator for the Cameroon Association for Bible Translation and Literacy within the Southwest region of Cameroon. 

The SURAM (Scripture Use Research and Ministry) project in Cameroon started in 2022. During the two-year period it will gather research, the staff of SURAM hopes to measure the effects of translated scripture within the country. To accomplish this, the team is asking three main research questions: 

  1. How much of the translated Scripture is being used by the language communities? 
  2. What impact has translated Scripture had on the community, within the church congregation, and for the individual within that community? 
  3. What factors are contributing to high use and impact and what factors are decreasing impact? 

Cameroon is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. There are currently 270 living languages in the country. Scripture has been produced for about 50 of those languages, leaving roughly 220 languages that still have little to no Scripture. The linguistic context for Cameroon makes it an ideal candidate for a high-depth research project about how translated Scripture has been used so far within the country. 

Between 2007 and 2017, 28 language communities dedicated newly translated Scripture. SURAM has been able to conduct ministry and research within 25 of those language communities. With data gathered from those interactions, as well as continued Scripture engagement with the community, the results from the project will help to mobilize Bible translation ministry moving forward. 

Listen in to learn more about the international staff and collaborators working on this important project. Take hope in the informative outcomes of this study that will help further benefit the Bible translation movement!